Dungeon Master Trilogy – Book 1 – Chapter 1 – The Great Journey!
Currently there are five people sitting around an old wooden table inside of a tavern. The table is painted a light, brown colour and it is made from pinewood, the wood was collected from the nearby Forest. All of them are currently drinking some form of ale from black coloured chalices. The structure is very old and it is made from the same material as well, which is the same colour of the table that they are presently sitting around, it also has a few lanterns hanging from the ceiling, which is keeping the tavern illuminated. This place is called the, ‘The Adventurers Welcome!’ It is a place where adventurers gather to share all, of their tales and adventures of their past heroic deeds.
The first is a female with an amazing figure, she has long, black and silky hair that drapes over her shoulders and has a beautiful pair of light brown, hazel eyes. Also over her back is a short sword and shield, she is dressed in some thin, chain mail for protection as well and it is favourably suited for a heroine warrior.
The second person is a male and he is dressed in a light-crafted, plate armour suit; he has a long two-handed sword hanging across his back. He also has dark brown hair and dark, brown, hazel eyes and he is a tiny bit taller than the girl.
The third person sitting to the other side of the man is a smaller girl with blonde hair and light-blue eyes. She is wearing a cloak, and a robe; she also has a staff on her back and looks to be a magic-user, maybe a sorceress or wizardess.
The final person sitting down is another male, he has short, light, black hair with a black beard and moustache matching his hair colour. The man is wearing, priest robes; it is a greyish colour and he has a sceptre hanging on his right side of his robe. The last person sitting at the top of the table is another man, dressed normally and not in any fancy clothes or armour, like the other four people. He is about five and a half feet tall, he has short, yellow hair and he now takes a slow sip from his ale. Something in his past seems to be troubling him as he begins to speak in a soft tone.
“Thank you all, for coming at such a short notice. A situation has arisen inside a dormant volcano to the east of here in the Forsaken Badlands. The Grey Lord and I need your help; I will explain further after you all introduce yourselves one at a time. As you were all called to arms at such a short notice, I do not even know any of your names, but I did visit every town and village on Aenas. Several adventurers went alone to try and carry out this task for the last three years… but, none ever returned; nor have I, dared to venture near that, cursed Mountain!”
The first girl speaks in a sweet and gentle tone, “My name is, Karna, and I am a warrior from the north that is highly trained in the arts of defensive fighting; it is my pleasure to meet you, Theron, and the rest of you.”
The dark, brown-eyed man speaks next, “My name is Rheill and I am a barbarian trained in the use of two-handed swords. Wow, it is nice to meet a fine woman like you, Karna, who is not scared to get physical,” he says flirtatiously.
Karna smiles and looks at Rheill, eyeing him up slyly, as the sorceress-type girl begins to speak.
“Hello all, my name is Sana, I am a sorceress trained in the finer arts of magic and looks like having Karna with us, we will have a very good protector, since she is trained well, so she says… also Rheill looks to be capable of handling a great many things, especially women!” she says with a smirk on her face.
Karna and Rheill nod with approval to Sana’s kind words towards them and Theron looks happy so far with the four people that have come forth. Finally, the final participant sitting at the wooden table speaks, “My name is Isai; I am a Monk and I am very well trained in first aid and the use of sceptres and alchemy. Likewise, as, Karna, Sana and Rheill, have said earlier it is happy to meet all you and we can now drink together before we set out on our task tomorrow.” He said changing his tone to a friendlier voice, after he mentioned the drinking part.
All four of them drink some more of their ale slowly as Theron starts to explain more on what happened to the Grey Lord and how important this task is that they must all undergo.
“The Grey Lord was doing experiments deep within the dungeon with the Firestaff, four years ago. The Firestaff was found deep within the magma chamber inside that same volcano, but the gem was not fused with it and something went wrong… The evil side of him Escaped his body along with Lord of Order, which is his good side, it was struck down. He is trying to learn the true nature of the Firestaff and to empower it using the Power gem at the bottom of Volcano to destroy this world. I managed to escape the obsidian mountain and magma chamber before, Chaos could find and kill me. Although, I fear for the worst and that he may have possibly locked and guarded the Firestaff away inside of the mountain. If we do not get it back and then learn the true purpose, the world, will surely, be doomed,” said Theron.
He disobeyed the Lord of Order as we not meant to tell the full details of this incident that happened four years ago.
“You must find the Firestaff, and learn its true purpose; only then can you banish, Chaos, and the, Lord of Order, merging them back inside of the, Grey lords body and soul. This should remove both entities from this world and restore balance to the Grey Lord. Hopefully this will then free him. But, I do not know the answers to the riddle of the Firestaff; you must figure this out once you find it. More importantly, you must first learn how to find access to it. I do not know what, Chaos, has done since; but, my guess is he will have set many traps. He may also have raised many creations and guardians to protect the Firestaff. Good luck, my friends; I will take you there tomorrow morning!”
After several drinks at the wooden table, they finally head to their rooms that the tavern keeper has kindly left them to have for the night. All, of the rooms have been prepaid by Theron the apprentice of the Grey Lord. Karna and Sana go up first as the gentleman show the ladies the proper chivalry by letting them go first as they climb the wooden stairs. As they ascend the old wooden stairs, an eerie sound can be heard, which is the creaking of every step, “Hope these stairs are safe and this place is not haunted, but then again, the journey will be a lot worse than this, not to mention the mountain Theron mentioned!”
The others responded with, “Agreed, Karna!”
They each move to their own rooms; each room is made from pinewood as well, the same as the rest of the tavern. Each room has one round, hollow window in it and a single bed with scruffy bed-covers. This is not the best place to spend a night, but it is the only choice all four of them have right now.
Before they get into bed, each of them takes a quick shower and slips into their preferred night clothes, apart from Karna, as she never wears anything for bed. This is exactly how she likes to sleep and she is comfortable like that; she will have to change that when she is forced to sleep around the others. The night ends as quickly as it started by the whistling of the early birds in the morning at around 7 a.m.
All of them, except Karna wake up and they are most thankful for a pleasant and sweet night’s sleep without any nightmares, even though they have just been told the fate of universe rests in their hands. Karna is still fast asleep when Rheill knocks on the door to her room, but there is no answer. He slowly peeks in to see her curled up and sleeping inside her covers so peacefully that he decides not to wake her up just yet.
Rheill creeps’ downstairs, trying desperately not to wake Karna up, and then he speaks quietly to Isai and Sana downstairs, “Karna is fast asleep still, she did have lot more than us to drink and travelled a lot further than us so she deserves some slack. My next question is, should we wake her as we need to get going?”
Sana then replies, “No, let us have our morning wash routines first and Karna should be awake by then and she can take point; after all she is a protector, a shield maiden of her village in the north or at least that is what she has told us last night.”
“Sounds great,” replied Isai and Rheill to Sana.
Each of them take turns to use the shower one at a time, although, Isai and Rheill would have loved to have been in there with Sana. Isai was especially eyeing her up and down and enjoying her view from behind as she entered the shower with the towel wrapped around her. Her upper back was being exposed slightly as she was holding the towel around her tight body, which was giving him a slight taste of the product. He was being extremely sneaky as she could not see him doing this. In the meantime, Karna finally awakens from her lovely slumber. She rubs her light, hazel eyes ever so gently and stretches her arms as Rheill opens the door to check on her and these words leave his mouth, “Morning, sleepy head,” he said jokingly.
She replies back, “Shush, I traveled further and so, I am allowed, to sleep longer and can you please get me a towel so I can have my morning shower? I am kind of not wearing anything as this is how I prefer to sleep!” she then smiles knowingly that, Rheill, will love the naughtiness from her. She also secretly has the hots for him, but hides it perfectly inside of her innocent little mind. Rheill kindly passes her a white towel and leaves the room for Karna to slip into it. Then he purposely says, “Will you Allow me to show you to the shower, sweetie?”
Karna agrees and, to Rheill’s surprise, she takes him by his hand with the towel wrapped around her body tightly, “Lead me then, gallant sir!”
He quickly takes her up on her kind offer and shows her the way and tells her this, “Please come down when you are ready dear.”
Karna comes down after collecting her armour, shield and broadsword from her room, which she now has equip after freshening up, “Sorry to have kept all of you waiting. I just slept like a log and did not realize it was that time already, shall we get going then?”
Sana responds with, “Yes and do not worry about that; it happens to all of us at some point in our lives, but can you take point for us?”
“Gladly,” replied Karna in a happy and cheerful voice.
All four of them wave goodbye to the Tavern Keeper as they exit the old tavern through the entrance doors, which are two large wooden doors over six foot tall. The small group is led by Rheill with Karna taking point with Isai and Sana taking up the rear guard. They are all dressed in their gear and as they start the long and perilous journey south towards the Badlands. Theron greets them and takes them to the place as agreed in their meeting last night, “Okay, follow me please,” said Theron.
They all start to follow the road south with Theron as their guide. They walk about one hundred paces along the road and then Theron turns to the east and speaks again.
“We need to cut across this field and valley; it will take us straight there rather than taking long way around by following the road.”
They follow Theron led by Rheill with Karna taking point as discussed earlier; they are now approaching an expansive wilderness. The grass is green, but very long; they must, wade through using their equipment and it looks like it goes on for days. They press on further and Karna starts up a conversation, “Tell me about yourself, Rheill; what got you into fighting and the adventure stuff?”
“Oh, I grew up wanting to be like my father; he was a great warrior, but he was killed on the battlefield defending his country with honour. It was just natural that I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” replied Rheill.
“I am sorry to hear that,” answered Karna.
“It is okay, Karna, it happened a long time ago; so, tell me about yourself, Karna.”
Karna replies, “I come from the north of Crom in a small village. I took up training so that I could defend myself and my family when the men were away from our homes. Attackers are not going to care if you are a woman or not and will take your life quicker than you can bend your little finger.”
“That is most interesting, Karna, and I see you carry yourself well just by the way you stand and move,” Rheill said in a nice and respectful tone of voice.
Meanwhile, Sana and Isai get to know each other a little better as they ask each other pretty much the same questions.
The long grass goes on for miles as they continue to move it out of the way; they finally exit the unending grass into a large open field. Suddenly, a gentle breeze passes over them all as night time soon approaches, but the sky is also as clear as it will ever be as hardly any clouds are currently visible. Although, you can see it starts to change colour, as the darkness is ready to consume the light as the time passes on further through the night.
“We should maybe set up a camp here and continue in the morning. We do not really want to continue in the dark and there is a forest we must pass through before we can get there. It rests on the edge of this open plain so going there in the dark would not be a wise move,” explained Theron.
“Let’s camp closer to the forest because we will need some of the wood for the fire,” Rheill replied in a suggestive manner.
They take Rheill’s advice and head over to the edge of the forest. The moonlight now reflects brightly along the grassy plains that they are now crossing as they finally reach the forest. Before the forest, one can hear the trickling water of a stream flowing. It is such a peaceful sound; they all take a moment to take it in and listen to the stream and inhale the fresh air of the incoming night.
“This looks like a great spot,” said Isai.
Rheill then says, “I will go and get the wood, the rest of you stay here please.”
“Hell, no you are not going in there alone… you do not know what lives in that forest and it will be pitch black shortly, let me go with you,” replied Isai.
“Why do Sana and I have to stay, just because we are woman? That is rather sexist don’t you think?” replied Karna in an angry tone of voice.
Sana does not look too, happy either; she nods her head at Karna and then looks at the two guys.
Theron speaks, “Why not have, Karna and Rheill, go together, they are trained in physical skills; they will be able to cut and gather up the wood much faster, do you not agree?”
Sana replies, “That is a much better idea, I think.”
Karna then nods and agrees to it as well and slowly walks towards Rheill, and both Karna and Rheill, start to cross over the small stream, and disappear into the edge of the dark forest.
“Please be careful Rheill, we should just stay on the outside and chop from here, we cannot see a thing!” suggested Karna.
“Yes, a good idea. Let’s do that,” replied Rheill.
They both take roughly ten or so minutes to chop down the wood; meanwhile Isai, Sana and Theron are having a conversation back on the other side of the small trickling stream.
Isai says, “It is actually good that they have gone instead; we can rest our weary bodies as we will not get much rest, I am sure once we enter this dark and foul place.”
Sana replies, “Yes, you are right, but I just did not like the sexist approach at the start, but you are forgiven,” winking at Isai.
Shortly thereafter, Karna and Rheill return carrying a good supply of wood from the dark forest and they slowly stack it up in the middle of their camp. Next, Sana casts an Ignite Fire spell to light up the wood. The fire starts to burn brightly in the form of yellow and crimson, red flames, the warm aura of the heat could be felt hastily through the rest of the night.
All of them get out some of their own provisions to eat for dinner as they talk about fun times around the fire knowing they probably will not get to do this for a long time. They then try to sleep as comfortably as they can in the short green grass; they find it hard to sleep at first, but finally they sleep only to be woken up, by the singing of the morning birds.
Karna awakens first, which shocks the others, as she was the sleepy head the night before; she puts out the fire to avoid any fire hazards.
“I will take us through this forest swiftly. There are some creatures in here that are quite deadly, such as poisonous snakes and various other stuff, I did not encounter before,” said Theron.
“We better tread lightly then!” replied Karna.
The entourage slowly enters the forest that is not so dark now as the bright rays can be seen shining down onto the top of the tall-looking, oak tree tops from the slowly rising sun. One can hear the rustling of the tree branches as they move in the light breeze even with the sun shining ever so brightly; it is still pretty, dark though. Also, the shadows of the trees give off an eerie look, which startles the party of four for a split second. They continue to move through the old forest, which is getting darker with every inch that they tread. On a tree branch, there is a gigantic snake, it is almost the same colour as the tree and appears to be extremely close to where they are all currently standing.
Karna whispers, “Quiet!”
Karna pauses before speaking again, “There is a snake on that branch, move slowly with no sudden movements; it looks to be sleeping. It will not know we are here if we are quiet and these snakes are deadly; one bite can kill you in seconds.” They all take Karna’s advice very seriously, as they get the impression she has seen this kind of snake before or near where she lives. The snake does not wake up, which is most fortunate for them, “It did not see us; Karna’s wisdom was most rewarding to our situation,” spoke Isai.
“We should approach the mountain in the next few hours. It is also a very dormant volcano, but there is a large flowing river that we must cross before that,” said Theron.
Rheill replies, “This just gets even better and better, what if it becomes active!?”
“Do not be so pessimistic and negative, Rheill!” answered Sana.
Isai then speaks, “Why on Earth did you and your master go to such a barren area in such a remote place like the Badlands?
It is in the middle of a volcano for crying out loud and slap bang in the middle of nowhere as well. Surely your master should have foreseen the danger?”
Theron quickly explains, “We needed the heat from the magma below, for the Firestaff to fuse with the gem; This was the only active heat source that was bright and hot enough to heat it. Although, the Firestaff, did not come from this mountain…. The Grey Lord, would never tell me where he found the staff. Although, written in the prophecy to restore the balance of all things, The Firestaff, must be infused with the Power Gem. But alas, my master was too hasty and wanted to rise to power, or did Chaos even have some influence over my master, after he removed the staff, wherever he found it?
He spent more and more time in that chamber alone researching and trying to find a way to remove that Power Gem. Not sure what the Grey lord did wrong, but an Explosion rocked the cavern and the heart of the volcano, yet it did not erupt, but then he became Chaos. You should never try to empower the Firestaff without knowing the true nature of it; this is what you all must learn,” as they continued through the forest.
The small band of five finally makes their way out of the forest after several hours have passed. They are now in a large steep, grey valley, a wooden bridge lays hooked across the grey peaks on each side, the way beyond leads into the Badlands. Also, the roaring sound of fast, rushing water can be heard as a waterfall near the bridge is flowing down a large body of steaming hot water. The water is heated by the volcano that can be seen in the distance. All that is in view is a grey, tiny piece of rock that can be seen by the naked eye.
“We must cross this bridge; it is pretty safe, though it is very old, older than the Grey Lord who is 80 years old. Sana and Isai, you go first,” said Theron.
“I will go last with Karna in front of me, because we have heavier armour. I am guessing no one wearing armour has ever crossed this ancient bridge,” replied Rheill.
“Cross one at a time as well please,” suggested Sana, using the intelligence of being a sorceress.
Sana begins to tread carefully across the bridge, which even feels old as she touches the ancient rope railings; it feels rough and the bridge creaks and makes an eerie sound as if it is about to break. She glances and nervously looks up at the rope railings that are holding the bridge and they look fragile and torn and it is breaking apart, but it holds her weight just fine. Next, Isai makes his way across and has no problems, but one of the wooden ropes that holds the bridge up, becomes loose.
Theron notices it also, “Karna and Rheill you are both going to have to take your armour off, the weight is going to be too much, even just Isai crossing, who was wearing no armour at all is loosening up the ropes that hold the bridge up and it is going to fall otherwise!” yelled Theron.
Rheill takes off his chain mail and Karna is forced to take off her chain mail top; she is wearing a corset top. Rheill now has his entire chest and body showing, minus his furry barbarian hide. Karna desperately tries not to look at Rheill’s magnificently toned and muscular body; she takes a sneaky peek, ‘Oh my, mmm’ were the thoughts running through her innocent mind after taking just a little peek.
Theron crosses next and has no problems as he is light as well; Karna is stacked in the front and in the back, from her training and is heavier than the rest but not nearly as heavy as Rheill who is much taller than all of them.
“There is something I must tell you, I am dead scared of heights and I cannot cross this bridge.”
A tear then rolls down Karna’s cheek as she is embarrassed and did not want to show any signs of weakness.
“Karna!” Rheill shouts, as he wipes the tear from her cheek and says, “it is okay to be afraid, take all the time you need to cross this bridge; you can go last if you like!”
Karna simply smiles and puts a brave face on, “Yes, let me go last please.” said Karna.
Rheill crosses the bridge and one of the wooden ropes silently snaps, and no one notices it at all.
“Karna, it is your turn now; please just close your eyes and hold onto the railing. Do not look down, you can do this, girl!” said Rheill.
Karna closes her pretty, hazel eyes and uses her touch and senses to hold on to railings of the very old bridge. She gets to about halfway across and the ancient bridge collapses.
“Oh, my god, what is going on?!” screamed Karna in pure fright as she opens her eyes and continues to scream in total panic as if she was not frightened enough before. She uses her quick reflexes to hold on to the bridge like a true heroine. “HELP ME, HELP ME!” she screamed, holding onto the bridge; luckily it only fell on one side and is leaning against the huge peak on the side they going to.
“Climb up Karna!” said Theron, after she powers her way up she finally gets within arm’s reach of Rheill and he lifts her up. She cuddles Rheill out of pure fright, she is still trembling in fear and he just holds her for a few seconds.
“You did it and now you for sure are no longer scared of heights!” said Rheill.
Karna is still shaking violently as she goes into shock, “Karna will be fine, she is just in shock; let us stop here,” said Isai.
“We have lost both of Rheill’s and Karna’s armour now as well; Karna somehow miraculously kept her broadsword in her scabbard!” said Sana.
“Well better than losing any of our lives!” said Theron, they now have entered the Badlands and are now currently in a new area.
They are now looking at this huge mountain in the distance; it is carved out of obsidian rock. The mountain must be at least a few thousand feet high, but it does not have the cone at the top of it like a normal volcano does. Around the volcano are also old volcanic looking rocks with grey shades of obsidian; it is scattered along the floor there are no signs of life in the area either. They get a bad feeling about this, but decide they must press on; the fate of the world rests on the heroes’ and heroines’ shoulders according to Theron.
Now that they draw closer and closer to the mountain, at the bottom of the mountain, two immense doors can now be seen intricately carved into it, they seem to be a perfect fit. It seems though somebody may have recently built them. They are the colour of opal with two scary rubies, coloured eyes, one is carved on the left door and the other is carved on the right door along with a grey shade of colouring. This is illustrated over the scale of the two gigantic, black doors; it is almost the shape of some evil demon, it is very eerie looking. There is also a small red-diamond shaped button on the right of the right-hand door. Above the doors there are some strange runes on the top of the doors, they are displayed in a brownish colour.
“This was not here before, these two large doors. What magic is this; has Chaos built something here in the last four years?” asked Theron.
Rheill asks the following question, “Can you read or make out anything of what these Runes say, Sana?”
“I have studied the art of magic for a very long time, but I have never seen Runes likes these before in my life. These seem to be the form of something of great evil and should not be of this world.”
Theron interrupts the conversation, “I beg your pardon, but I must now leave!”
He leaves suddenly and there are many questions that now need answering. Although, before any of the four could ask, Theron ran away in a hurry like he was terrified of something after seeing these new double, obsidian doors at the entrance. Theron then fades away into the distance after he so called said his farewells to Isai, Rheill, Karna and Sana.
Karna speaks softly, “Shall I press the enter button then, but it seems too easy and could be a trap?”
Isai responds, “It could be, but I do not see any other entrances around here and time is against us here; push the button Karna.”
Rheill and Sana nods in agreement as Karna’s finger moves closer to the button. She presses it in slowly and the dungeon doors begin to rattle loudly as they open sideways from the centre, outwards. After about fifteen seconds or so, the doors are wide open and all four of them can see the not so pretty, plain, grey walls of a dungeon, but they cannot see far, as the dungeon twists to the right.
“This is a Dungeon! Either Theron knew this all along or he really had no idea that Chaos even built this. God, damn it, but Theron said the world is in danger; we have no choice, but to enter. Although, can we trust him now, especially as he just ran away!?” spoke an angry Karna.
All four of them boldly step through the large, double doors that are now wide open to enter the dungeon. Suddenly, as they cautiously step foot inside, the doors suddenly close extremely fast with a loud, resonating boom, making them all jump out of their skin and boots. They are now trapped inside Chaos’ evil dungeon and volcano… there is no escape.
Contents Page – View
Prologue – view
Chapter 2 – view